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"Ecumenical Follies" Update

Catholic-Orthodox Theological "Dialogue" to Resume  —  But What For?

by Christopher A. Ferrara

On the Fourth of July, Zenit.org reported that "The international theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches will resume in the fall, says Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity."

The column has regularly featured news of Kasper’s heretical and quasi-heretical pronouncements, which do not seem to disturb anyone in the Vatican apparatus. But that aside for the moment, consider the agenda for the upcoming resumption of "theological dialogue" with the Orthodox. According to Zenit, "the official theological dialogue, which is carried out by a Catholic-Orthodox International Mixed Commission and includes representatives of the Catholic Church and of the various Orthodox Churches, has been blocked since 2000, when disputes arose at a meeting in Maryland."

One can only laugh: after one thousand years of schism, the Orthodox stopped their useless "dialogue" with Catholics because of disputes during a meeting in Maryland? I am not making this up.

Apparently, the meeting in Maryland foundered over the "Theological and Canonical Implications of Uniatism"  —  that is, existence of Catholic "uniate" churches (i.e. united to Rome) in predominantly Orthodox countries. The Orthodox regard the uniate churches as intolerable. So, the first topic for the resumed "dialogue" will be  —  get this!  —  "What Does Church Mean in Reality?" After 40 years of fruitless ecumenical palaver, they are going to discuss what "Church" means!

But that’s not all: As Kasper explained, "Therefore, we will talk about the ecclesial community and, in this context, we will address the crucial question with Orthodoxy, namely, the primacy of the Petrine ministry."

After one thousand years of schism and forty years of ecumenical palaver, they are still "discussing" the primacy of Peter"? But what is there left to discuss? The Pope has supreme jurisdiction over the Church, and all Her members must submit to his authoritative teaching on faith and morals. Is there something about this fundamental Catholic teaching the Orthodox still don’t understand? At what point, if ever, will the "ecumenical dialogue" reach the obvious conclusion: "That’s the truth, take it or leave it. And if you leave it, you are outside the one true Church."

According to Zenit, after his recent trip to Moscow Kasper observed that "The atmosphere was cordial and courteous; I would not describe it as warm, but certainly fraternal." After forty years of "ecumenical dialogue" we have not even reached the point of warmth with our supposed Orthodox "brothers." What a joke. But, says Kasper, "We have reasoned in the areas where we can collaborate, especially in the social and cultural field, and how we can offer a common testimony against the present secularism. There are possibilities of meeting here."

So, the end result of all the ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox since Vatican II consists of "possibilities" that Catholics and Orthodox can join in social work and opposing "secularism." The Orthodox churches are not one millimeter closer to reunion with the Catholic Church. But, of course, we knew that already. Yet the "ecumenical dialogue" goes on, while the Vatican apparatus deliberately evades the consecration and conversion of Russia. Our Lady of Fatima, assist us!